Posted in: Interviews

Interview with J. LOWERY Founders, Margaret and Jamey

J. LOWERY was founded by two lifelong friends, Margaret and Jamey, with a mission to create meaningful accessories with a Southern influence. The result? Tres chic handbags that will carry you from the office to cocktails with a lot of compliments along the way.

Where is your hometown?

We are childhood friends born and raised in Meridian, MS. We grew up in every stage of life together from elementary to high school and eventually college at Ole Miss. Our birthdays are also only two days apart, so we like to joke that we were together in the same hospital and have never experienced a moment in life without each other since. Jamey now lives in Memphis, TN and Margaret lives in Birmingham, AL.

What does your household look like? (i.e. Married, kids, pets)

We're both married and expecting in the fall! Margaret is expecting her first baby (a boy!) this August and Jamey’s second child is due in November. Jamey has a precious 18-month-old, named William, who brings extra love to her days and makes every day more exciting than the last. We always say how blessed we are to be able to experience all these incredible, new life changes together and we look forward to continuing to grow our families and our business!

What year did your company launch?

J. LOWERY officially launched in August 2019. It seems like a lifetime ago but also like it was just yesterday!

What originally sparked your idea for the company?

We've both always been passionate about personal style. The two of us have always felt that clothes and accessories are wearable expressions and representations of who you are as a person. What you wear and how you present yourself can tell someone a lot about you without you having to say a word. While on the hunt for a great handbag that we ourselves would carry, we noticed a gap in the contemporary handbag market. We couldn't find timeless pieces with a bit of edge at an attainable price that we felt represented us. There are also very few handbag lines based in the U.S., something that is very important to us and who we are at our core. From there we decided that it was time to make our passions a reality and thus J. LOWERY was born.

What do you love most about your company?

Jamey: Without a doubt, it’s the fulfillment it gives me. This company provides a career-focused sense of purpose I never had before. Because it’s our company, everything rests on our shoulders. There is certainly more risk involved but on the other hand, the feeling we have when milestones are hit and victories are won is so much more rewarding – because it’s all ours. That confidence acquired, from both victories and trials, has certainly made me a better person.

Margaret: I love how much it has taught us in such a short amount of time and the connections we've made. We've built such great relationships already with our manufacturing partners, suppliers, fellow female founders, customers, etc. I love to learn, challenge myself, and grow, and being able to do those things while building a community of amazing women to continue to learn from and support makes each challenging day so rewarding.

What is a current goal you are striving for?

Jamey: One of our goals from the beginning was to build the most thoughtful and intentional brand possible. I think in recent months, that initial goal has started to show an exciting reward with the network we’ve built, as well as the partnerships and friendships we’ve developed along the way. We want J. LOWERY to be a brand people feel connected to and have a sense of ownership in and we hope to continue that always.

Margaret: One goal or guiding principle we talk about each day is how we can remain intentional. We want to make our communities proud and ensure we stay mindful of what our brand represents. Leading with intention remains at the forefront of all decision making—whether that's our decision to support our local economy by producing in the United States (our manufacturer is co-owned by a woman, too!), or being strategic when agreeing to work with influencers or with new retail partners, we want everything we do to be meaningful.

How do you keep up your mental health?

Jamey: Spending uninterrupted quality time with my son. When I feel like things are getting beyond what I can handle or control at that moment I love to scoop him up and take him outside. Seeing the world through his eyes reminds me of how blessed we are.

Margaret: Vitamin C and exercise have always been my stress relievers. I can always tell a difference in my mood and mindset if I haven't taken that personal time for myself to get active or get outside, even if it's only for a few minutes

Looking back on your entrepreneurial journey, what do you wish you had done differently?

Jamey: Wow what a question! Becoming an entrepreneur has taught me so many invaluable lessons. Looking back, I wish I would have had more confidence out of the gate. It truly does take time and experience to gain lasting confidence but I have grown to learn that this entrepreneurial life is a continual cycle of growth, learning, and change. Everyone is different and it’s important to do things that work best for you, not for someone else. All you have to do is figure out what you’re passionate about and give it all you got!

Margaret: I learned so much at every job I had leading up to J. LOWERY. It was at one of my previous jobs (where I worked for two strong and caring women) that I realized how capable anyone can be when they have strong encouragement and support on their side. When someone puts their trust in you and has faith in your capabilities, it changes your mindset. I wish I would have discovered that confidence and courage in myself sooner by surrounding myself with more women like those two, but do believe all things happen when they are supposed to. My hope from that previous experience and with starting J. LOWERY is that Jamey and I can instill that same sense of belief in oneself in other young women and be that encouragement for them.

If you could give some advice to your 21-year-old self, what would you say?

Jamey: Keep your head up, keep working and remember to enjoy the little things. All good things happen in their perfect time.

Margaret: Be patient and trust your gut. All good things in life take time!

Fun Tips

Recommended read:

Jamey: The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You by Lydia Fenet.

Margaret: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one I try to reread every year!

Worthwhile TV series:

Jamey: My husband and I are on a big Great British Baking Show kick right now. He will be mortified that I announced that but their accents soothe us!

Margaret: Veep is our go-to!

vacation spot you still dream about:

Jamey: Take me anywhere in Italy! I’d like to be on an Italian wine and pasta tour as soon as possible.

Margaret: Lake Como. I was able to visit while studying abroad in college and would love go back with family and experience it in a new way.

Song on repeat:

Jamey: I’ve been on an Etta James kick while I cook at night.

Margaret: Lately I've been playing a lot of Maggie Rogers

Cocktail of choice:

Jamey: Wine, always.

Margaret: A Hemingway Daiquiri on our front porch

Entertaining tip or trick:

Jamey: I’m all about having friends in the kitchen with me, sipping wine, and catching up. So I will always leave one easy appetizer to prep upon arrival so I have some company in the kitchen! I love those memories.

Margaret: Always keep the bar stocked & have a perfect playlist ready to set the mood!

Recent purchase that delighted you:

Jamey: We just bought a new house! As our little family grew, we knew we’d need more space.

Margaret: Buying anything for our little one on the way puts me in the best mood and makes me so excited for the day he is finally here!

Skincare MVP:

Jamey: Revision Papaya Enzyme Cleanser

Margaret: Supergoop CC Cream—especially for days when I don't feel like putting a lot of makeup on.

Essential makeup product:

Jamey: I’m not a big makeup brand gal but I wish I was. However, in these warmer months, I love a good highlighter to brighten my skin. The Glossier Haloscope stick is my go-to.

Margaret: I'm very simple when it comes to makeup, but make sure to always have on Concealer and my Westman Atelier Blush Stick in Chouchette.

“I have grown to learn that this entrepreneurial life is a continual cycle of growth, learning, and change. Everyone is different and it’s important to do things that work best for you, not for someone else.”

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